Exhibition Beijing

Cai Yuan & Xi Jian Jun (MAD FOR REAL) "Aircraft Carrier Project"
2009/2/28 (Sat) - 2009/4/12 (Sun)

Tokyo Gallery + BTAP gladly presents Aircraft Carrier Project – One World One Dream, works by artists Cai Yuan and Xi Jianjun, from February 28 – April 12, 2009

Cai Yuan graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design and Royal College of Art in 1991. Xi Jianjun studied at Goldsmith College from 1993 to 1993. Both artists are now living and working in Beijing and London.

The two artists first collaboration was a performance piece in 1999. This piece, jumping and making kungfu moves on Tracy Emin's Turner Prize-winning work, My Bed, took place at London's Tate Modern. The performance was instantly controversial, which made it a focus of the British media. Soon after, they urinated into Marcel Duchamp's urinal piece in the same museum. At the opening of the 2000 Shanghai Biennial, they performed Kidnapping the Curator Hou Hanru; in the same year Battle between Soy Sauce and Ketchup was performed on Labor Day at Trafalgar Square in London. This project was later expanded and performed internationally.

The two artists will present their new work, a 7-meter long aircraft carrier reduced from the original by 1:50 ration, against the German Bauhaus architectural backdrop of Tokyo Gallery + BTAP. The stately atmosphere and their in situ performance will bring about reflection.

The artists project their knowledge and understanding of an aircraft carrier, an object of unique historical meaning that represents military prowess, through this installation, which reflect the political, economic and cultural phenomenon of globalization in the 21st century. This installation does not only ponder upon and criticize the concept of "power" and "the world" from an aesthetic and visual angle, but is also a metaphorical and satirical representation of real world culture and politics.

This "made in China" aircraft carrier can be understood as a metaphor. An aircraft carrier is a military weapon that can be extremely "terrorizing," and its production and maintenance symbolizes a nation's financial prowess. Therefore, the aircraft carrier takes on the role of symbolizing power and financial abilities.

In today's struggle for power, a nation's strong military power and economic strength play a pivotal role in gaining political domination. Similarly strong economic and political infrastructure can influence the world of culture and art and transform them into forms of "power." The artists' motivation to build this "aircraft carrier" can be understood as a symbolic approach in demonstrating the "strong" and "terrorizing" objects' influence on other objects.

On this occasion, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP welcomes you to attend Cai Yuan and Xi Jianjun's Aircraft Carrier Project – One World One Dream.
MAD FOR REAL http://www.madforreal.com.cn


Publication
MAD FOR REAL Cai Yuan and JJ Xi performance 1999-2005
Edited by Katie Hill



Published by Carrots Press London 2005
in a limited edition of 500 copies
ISBN 0955107407

Pages 128
Binding Soft back
Illustration 135 colour, 19 b&w illustrations
Dimensions 260mm x 210mm

This book is a very richly illustrated full-colour catalogue of JJ Xi and Cai Yuan's performance work from 1999 to 2005, with an essay by Dr Katie Hill and an interview by the curator Sally Lai.

The photographs are strong images of the work which have never been presented as a body of work before. it features performance such as Cai Yuan and JJ Xi Jumping on Tracey Emin's Bed at Tate Gallery 1999, Monkey King causes havoc in the Heavenly Place at British Museum 2003, and artists recent solo exhibition at Manchester Happy and Glorious as well as the more controversial performances in the Tate and other London public-space and locations. Yuan Cai and JJ Xi make strong use of irony in their performance and photographic work, drawing on seemingly banal subject -matter such as soya sauce and Monkey King to make witty and absurd commentaries through ironic action and posturing.

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